X-rays might sound a little extreme for the dentist, but that’s not necessarily the case. From early detection of cavities, decay, gingivitis, and even oral cancers, X-rays are an excellent tool for your dentist to get the full picture of your teeth, gums, and jaw.
Who needs dental X-Rays?
Everyone needs dental x-rays. X-rays are typically done as soon as you become a patient at a new dental practice to help your new dentist become better acquainted with your current dental health. After your initial exams, x-rays become an annual part of your regular oral exams. Children usually require x-rays more frequently than adults because their jaws and teeth are still developing to maturity.
Dentists especially need x-rays to perform their job thoroughly. Although their super dentist eyes can spot damage or decay on the surface of teeth and gums from miles away, neither Dr. Brunacini nor Dr. Karagiorgos have x-ray vision! They need a little bit of help to see inside your teeth, gums, and jaw bones to give you the best care possible.
The radiation levels used during dental x-rays are so low that they are completely safe. However, to cover all of the bases, you will be given a lead bib or apron to wear while your x-rays are taken. Although it might not be very stylish, the lead bib or apron acts as a precautionary shield to your vital organs so they can avoid any unnecessary exposure to radiation.
If you are pregnant or believe that you might be pregnant, you should not have any x-rays done. Please let your hygienist and dentist know if you think or know that you are expecting!
Types of X-Rays
X-rays images are not only helpful to your dentist–they’re fun to look at. There are four major types of dental x-rays that provide a different map of your mouth:
1. Bitewing: For a bitewing x-ray, the hygienist will have you bite down on a special piece of paper during the x-ray. The resulting image will show how well the crowns of your teeth match when you bite down.
2. Occlusal: Occlusal x-rays examine your bite–how well your bottom and top teeth line up as well as the structure of your jaw. They also take a close look at the roof and floor of your mouth.
3. Panoramic: This is an exciting x-ray! For a panoramic view, the x-ray machine will rotate slowly around your head to give the dentist a comprehensive view of your entire oral and nasal cavities.
Three Dimensional Scans take panoramic excitement to new levels. The latest development in dental technology is the CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) 3D scan. The process of a 3D is very similar to that of a panoramic: the machine rotates slowly around your head, capturing images of your skull. Instead of traditional x-rays, the CBCT scan uses cone beams (named for their conical shape) to create a 3D model of your entire jaw structure. Like any three dimensional object, the CBCT scan can be rotated and viewed from any angle.
4. Periapical: This type of x-ray gives a big picture of a small surface area. Periapical images zoom in on one or two teeth to show the bone and gum in great detail.
Here at Falmouth Dental Arts, we strive to provide our patients the most comprehensive dental care available. X-rays are a valuable tool for our dentists, hygienists and patients, giving us an in-depth look at teeth, gums, jaw bones and nasal cavities. Regular x-rays allow dentists to predict–and address–oral issues before they become serious complications.
If you have any questions about our dental x-ray procedure or the images themselves, just ask. Dr. Brunacini, Dr. Karagiorgos, and our fabulous hygienist team will be more than happy to answer all of your questions so that you can be just as excited about your x-rays as we are. To schedule your appointment, please call our office at 207.781.5900.
National Dentist Day was March 6 and was established as a way to show appreciation and thanks for dentists. We have two of the best dentists to thank: Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos! As a way to honor these two, we thought we’d ask them some questions about their path to dentistry and what they love about the work they do. Let’s learn more about FDA’s Dynamic Duo!
1. Why did you go in to dentistry?
Dr. Brian Brunacini: I enjoy the variety and problem-solving in dentistry. There are always new things to learn and I’ve enjoyed keeping up with the advancements in digital dentistry to improve the accuracy of diagnoses and quality of care.
Dr. Karagiorgos: After graduating with a degree in civil/structural engineering, I worked in the field but I disliked my job. I was 27 and I knew I didn’t want to do that as a lifelong career. Around that time, I went through a health scare that made me decide to pursue a career that would be meaningful and satisfying to me. I thought more about what a cousin had once suggested: dentistry. So I went back to school to take all the prerequisites to go to dental school, and meanwhile I worked for the Tufts’ Oral Surgery department as a Dental Assistant, where I assisted in surgical procedures such as extraction, implant placement, and even cosmetic surgery. This experience solidified my desire to pursue dentistry. I really enjoyed the surgical aspect of dentistry and considered specializing but the great thing about general dentistry is that you’re able to do a little bit of everything.
2. What is rewarding about your work?
Dr. Brian Brunacini: I love getting to know our patients and working together by sharing what I see and can potentially do for them. I really enjoy empowering patients to be more involved in their healthcare decisions so that they can improve their health.
Dr. Karagiorgos: Every day is about finding the best dental solution for each individual patient while keeping each patient’s special circumstances and aesthetic vision in mind, as well as the financial aspects involved to create the best possible treatment plan for every individual. There’s also an aspect of artistic expression to what we do: it’s making a filling look like a tooth. In a way, dentistry is a very satisfying form of artistic expression on a small scale.
3. What is unique about working at FDA?
Dr. Brian Brunacini: We practice progressive dentistry that allows us to provide excellent holistic care for the whole patient while using crest-of-the-wave technology. We also have a laid-back atmosphere at the office which creates a comfortable, inviting place for patients. That coupled with an amazing team–from receptionist to hygienist to assistant to dentist–who all work together to help patients makes this an ideal practice where we build lasting relationships with our patients.
Dr. Karagiorgos: The patients and staff here make my job feel like it’s not even work. It’s a great feeling to be a part of a team like this. And we meet patients from all walks of life, so it’s great to talk to everyone and get to know them.
4. What is your favorite dental care tip?
Dr. Brian Brunacini: Mine comes down to diet. Everyone knows how important it is to eat well for their overall health, but it also is important for healthy teeth and gums. There is strong correlation between a decrease in sugar/carbohydrate consumption and a decline in tooth decay rates. It’s not just about limiting overall sugar consumption–it’s also important to pay attention to how often during the day you eat or drink sugar. For example, sipping on an iced coffee with sugar all day is worse than drinking it in one sitting.
Dr. Karagiorgos: Floss, floss, floss!!! Flossing can remove plaque and food debris particles in places where toothbrush bristles cannot easily reach, like under the gum line and especially between your teeth. Plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which daily flossing can help prevent!
Thank you Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos! We appreciate the thoughtful care you both bring to the practice everyday.
Whether you’ve been coming to FDA for years or are a new patient, we hope you learned something about our wonderful dentists. If you have a question for them or need to schedule a visit, give us a call today at 207.781.5900. We are here to give you the best oral health care possible!
Brushing has become such a staple in our everyday routine, that it has become easy for us to take it for granted. In our morning rush to get ready for school and work, we often speed through brushing in an attempt to make up some lost time. Of course, this is the last place we should be looking to cut corners. Here are 8 common brushing mistakes that are harming your teeth.
1.) You aren’t brushing long enough. We recommend brushing for 2-3 minutes, but chances are you probably only brush for around a minute on average. Some solutions could be: take a timer into the bathroom and set it for at least 2 minutes, get an electric toothbrush with a built in timer that you can set, or our favorite, listen to or hum your favorite song while you brush!
2.) You’re not paying attention to what you’re doing. You’re brushing alright…but chances are you aren’t looking in the mirror watching what you’re doing. Concentrate a little more on those tough to get places (like the gum line!) by watching yourself in the mirror as you brush those areas. It will help you do a better job.
3.) Your technique needs a MAJOR makeover. Your enamel is strong, but that doesn’t mean it is bulletproof. Brushing in straight lines by only moving front and back can damage enamel over time and be similar to sawing down a tree. Instead, focus on a few teeth at a time and brush in little circles and mix in brushing in all directions (up, down, front back). When you are done brushing in circles, go around your mouth again and brush away from the gum line to clear away the loosened plaque and bacteria from the surface of your teeth.
4.) Take it easy! You’re probably brushing too hard and using a toothbrush that is too tough. There is no need and it is actually harming your teeth. Try gripping your toothbrush between only your thumb and your pointer finger and middle finger as opposed to grasping your brush with your whole hand. This will put less force behind your brushing.
5.) You’re using the wrong toothbrush. Buy a soft or ultra soft toothbrush. Anything else is too tough and will harm your teeth over time. Make sure you replace your toothbrush every 3 months, too – or sooner if the bristles start to wear down.
6.) You’re using the wrong toothpaste. Baking soda toothpastes and other heavy duty cleaning chemical toothpastes are abrasive, which means they not only remove stains, they also potentially damaging your enamel if used over a long period of time. Use anything ADA approved – here is a list for you to choose from http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/ada-seal-of-acceptance/ada-seal-products/product-category/?supercategory=2
7.) You aren’t flossing. There isn’t a toothbrush available that can reach all the spaces in between your teeth. Just not going to happen. That is where flossing comes in. It is necessary. If using floss is difficult for you, then purchase the flosser sticks that are easy to use and maneuver in your mouth. Between the teeth is where bacteria most often forms and can eventually lead to tooth decay if not dealt with. So deal with it. Tip: try flossing in front of the TV to make it seem like less of a pain or hassle.
8.) You aren’t rinsing after brushing. Brush, floss, rinse. Brushing and flossing (when done right) loosen up the bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth. Rinsing afterwards with an alcohol-free mouthwash will wash the bacteria and plaque away. If you don’t have mouthwash, rinsing with water is better than nothing.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is widely celebrated, but celebrated in many different ways. One tradition that is of the more common is giving your valentine candy on February 14th. But why?
Chocolate candies as we know them today were created sometime in the late 1800’s. It was not long after their creation that they began to be marketed and created in heart shapes. What a thoughtful gift, right? Of course. Chocolate – especially shaped like a heart – is considered a valuable, divine, delicious, decadent, sophisticated gift. It’s the perfect gift.
Or at least it was in the 1800’s. Maybe it is now time that we start thinking outside the box (of chocolates) a little bit again to find some “sweet” ways to show our valentines just how much we care.
If you haven’t noticed…this is our helpless way of trying to keep our beloved patients away from the candy 😉
We know that this tradition is so deeply engrained within the holiday that it would take much more than a mere blog post to change that. And who are we kidding, it is sweet – literally and figuratively.
But don’t get carried away. Lay off the half priced candy on February 15th! This we are serious about 😉
We hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with all of your favorite treats and most importantly, your favorite people.
It wouldn’t be January without New Year’s Resolutions.
It is said that the concept of a New Year’s Resolution dates all the way back to the Babylonians. The custom originated as a gesture involving “moral favors” which were essentially personal promises to be good to others – the purpose was mostly to please God. It eventually evolved into dedicating time to reflect upon the previous year, and to contemplate the year to come. The goal, once again, was to make better use of personal talents to please God, treat people well, and to avoid habitual sins in the future.
Pretty cool stuff, and it seems pretty similar to the New Year’s Resolutions that we make today. We resolve each year to better ourselves in at least one important aspect of life – physical health, mental health, spiritual health, personal finance, family life etc. But if these resolutions are so important, then why do so many people seemingly fail?
It is believed that one of the main reasons is because we are too secretive. We don’t tell others what our resolutions are, and instead we bottle it up and keep it to ourselves. Now, some resolutions can certainly be personal and you might want to keep them to yourself. However, if you share your New Year’s Resolution and make it well known to family and friends, then you are much more likely to stick with it because they will help hold you accountable.
That is where we come in! In 2014 you should make your smile a priority. Whether it is committing to coming in religiously for all of your scheduled regular cleanings, or getting those veneers or that invisilign that you have always wanted to finish off that perfect smile…2014 is your year and we are here to help you every step of the way. Light up a room this year with your brilliant smile.
Call our office to set up an appointment today!